.- Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had ordered one of his generals to kidnap Pope Pius XII during World War II, reported Italy's leading Catholic newspaper, Avvenire.
The full-page report, cited in a Reuters article, said the information emerged recently in new documents presented to the Vatican.
Hitler, who wanted to abolish Christianity, feared the Pope would obstruct his plans for global domination, Avvenire stated.
In 1944, during the German occupation of Rome, Hitler ordered senior occupation officer SS General Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff to kidnap the Pope. Wolff instead arranged for a secret meeting with the Pope, assured the pontiff that he had no intention of carrying out the orders, and warned him to be careful, stated the report.
As a test, Pope Pius asked Wolff to arrange the release of two Italian resistance leaders who had been condemned to death, and Wolff did, reported the news sources.
Avvenire said the details of the plot are in a testimony Wolff gave to Church officials before he died in Germany.
These accounts counter claims that Pope Pius XII was pro-German and ignored the Holocaust.